How to Change Line on a Weedeater

How To Refill String Trimmer Head + How To Replace Weedeater Head

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for a Step-By-Step Guide on How to Change the Line on A Weed Eater(string trimmer).

The String Trimmer is one of Lawn Care’s most valuable yard tools. However, many homeowners have trouble with how to Change the String Trimmer Line, or as one friend put it, “How do I put the string in a weed eater.” 🙂

When trimming hard-to-reach areas, the weed eater is valuable lawn equipment to own – and ensure your lawn looks its best.

That is, as long as your string trimmer works correctly and delivers a fresh trimmer line when needed!

Never fear; today, we’ll show you how to change the weed eater string easily and quickly.

Three (3) Types of String Trimmer “Heads”

Before changing your line, it’s essential to understand the three (3) primary Types of weed eater trimmer “heads.” The trimmer head is the part of the weedeater that holds the “spool”, and trimmer line.

Let’s first determine which one you own – or maybe the one you’d like to own!

1) Fixed Line Trimmer Head

fixed line trimmer head | best home gear
Fixed Line Trimmer Head Image – BestHomeGear.Com

The first weedeater trimmer head type we feature is the fixed-line trimmer head. This type of trimmer head uses three or more short pieces of pre-cut trimmer line, usually held in place with locking tabs on the trimmer head.

There are a few different varieties of this design, and it is a little more expensive to own because it requires more frequent line replacements than bump-feed trimmers. However, If you’re looking for one of the easiest ways to replace the trimmer line – this is it.

The Plus side, however – is almost zero downtime. You change the tab lines once every few months. No tangles, spool changes, etc., and the line used is typically heavier.095 gauge trimmer line. 

The Fixed-Line Head also design provides a very aggressive cutting head for mowing down tough weeds or grass.

2)  Bump Feed Trimmer Head

How to change trimmer line | Best Home Gear
Bump Feed Head Design – BestHomeGear.Com


Next up is the bump-feed trimmer head, which houses a trimmer line spool. The spool usually holds 20-30ft of string trimmer line. When you “bump” the head against the ground, it automatically feeds a short line section out and trims it to length.

The bump-feed trimmer is the most common weed eater head type, usually found on less expensive trimmer models.

It is considered the most difficult to reload and use for most people. Very few people reload the trimmer head with a new line but instead, replace it with a new pre-loaded spool.

We recommend looking at one of the “replacement heads” such as a fixed-head or speed-feed head –  to replace your bump feed head.

3)  Automatic (Speed-Feed) Head

Echo Speed Feed Head | Best Home Gear
Automatic (speed-feed) Head – BestHomeGear.Com

Finally, there’s the Automatic (or speed-feed) head—our #1 First Choice in New or Replacement Trimmer Heads.

The Automatic (speed) head combines a giant spool and a bump-feed head with the convenience of a super easy changing system. It’s brilliant and is considered most professionals’ go-to trimmer head design.

The Speed Feed head allows you to feed in long lengths of heavy gauge .095 trimmer line – usually about 20ft. Long.

Once the trimmer line is inserted, wind it onto the spool with a quick ratchet action by hand.

An automatic trimmer head makes loading many trimmer lines without tangles, snares, or snags easy. This design can be found on high-end trimmers and is usually considered the best type of trimmer head for most users. 

If you afford it and have a larger yard, this is highly considered the best replacement trimmer head to own.

How to Change Line on “Fixed-Line” Trimmer Head:

Step 1: Remove Old Trimmer Line Remnants

Old trimmer lines on fixed-line heads gradually wear down to very short nubs, but the trimmer will have a residual line when you change it.

The way you remove it depends on the exact configuration of the head, but it can either be pulled back out by pressing a button to loosen it or pushed through to a hollow center. Once removed, dispose of the old piece of line.

Step 2: Insert New Trimmer Line

To load a new line, push the new lengths of fixed-line into the holes on the trimmer head, depressing the loading button if your trimmer requires it. You’re ready to get to work when the line is loaded.

Here’s a quick video on “how to change the trimmer line on typical weed eater heads and how to install Fixed-Line Trimmer Head.”

How to Change Line on “Bump-Feed” Trimmer Head

Step 1)  Remove the Trimmer Cap and Spool

To wind the new trimmer line onto the spool, you first have to remove the spool.

Do this by first pressing down on the spool cap and twisting it counterclockwise to loosen it from the body of the trimmer head.

Once the cap is off, remove the existing spool.

Rewind or Replace?

At this point, you can replace the old spool with a pre-loaded New trimmer spool. If you’re replacing the spool entirely with a new pre-loaded spool – do so now, then replace the spool cap.

However, If you rewind the existing spool, move on to Step 2 below.

Step 2) Insert Trimmer Line On Existing Spool

First, remove any small amount of remaining trimmer line that is left inside of the existing spool.

To install the new trimmer line onto your existing spool, cut the length of the new trimmer line from a bulk package of the line gauge you want to use.

Thread the line through the guide hole on the side of the spool, then pull it through until each end of your line is of roughly equal length.

Step 3) Wind New Line

Next, you’ll wind both ends of the line onto the spool together. You want to prevent them from crossing over each other, so it’s essential to keep them pulled tight as you wind.

Check the spool for an arrow that tells you the appropriate direction to wind.

When you near the end of the line, use the two notches on the side of the spool to hold the two line ends in place.

Step 4)  Reassemble Trimmer Head

Place the spool back into the trimmer head and feed approximately 10″ of trimmer line out of the head.

Once the head is securely mounted, you’re finished.

A short video demonstrating how to replace the trimmer line on Bump-Feed Head

How to Change Trimmer Line on Automatic-Feed Head

Step 1) Twist Head Cap into the Proper Position

The first step to change the trimmer line on weed eaters with automatic feeding heads is to rotate the trimmer head cap until it is in the correct position to feed the new line.

The correct head “position” can be found – by locating the “Arrow” stamped on both the body and the cap – then lining them up from across from each other.

You can consult your owner’s manual if you aren’t sure.

Step 2) Feed New Trimmer Line

Feed approximately one end of the trimmer line once the cap is in the correct position. 20 ft. Long – through the eyelets on the head.

As with the standard bump feed spool, you’ll want the two ends of the line to be about the same length.

Keeping the two lines out of the way, turn (ratchet) the cap on top of the trimmer head to automatically feed the line into the internal spool.

Note: On most trimmers with this head type, you’ll turn the cap clockwise to wind the line onto the spool.

Video: How to change a Speed-Feed (Automatic) Replacement Trimmer’s head:

Replacing Trimmer Line by String Trimmer “Brand”

Now that you know how to refill string trimmer lines on the three types of string trimmers, let’s go through a few differences between weed eater “Brands.”

The following sections illustrate the type of head each of the most prominent trimmer brands use, along with any special considerations to know when re-loading them.

Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQ).

Is it Hard to Replace String Trimmer Line?

Once you determine the type of head your string trimmer brand has, you can follow the instructions from the manufacturer or those provided in our guide.  Consequently, you can replace the trimmer head with a new (pre-loaded) one.

How Do You Refill Trimmer Line on Stihl Brand Trimmer?

Most Stihl trimmers use a standard bump feed head that you must take apart to rewind or replace the spool. However, the company also makes an automatic speed-feed version of its heads for specific brand trimmers.

How to Refill Trimmer Line on Husqvarna Trimmer?

Most Husqvarna trimmers use traditional bump feed heads. While some offer convenience features to make the process easier, as some Husqvarna String Trimmers are equipped with a Speed-Feed Head, this Husqvarna trimmer head will allow you to load the trimmer head without removing the head. 

How to Refill Trimmer Line on Black & Decker Trimmer?

Because Black & Decker manufactures electric – primarily (corded) trimmers, changing the line is slightly different. Unlike the methods described above, Black & Decker trimmers and most other electric weed eaters are designed to have their trimmer line spools removed and disposed of.

Once disposed of, they are replaced with new trimmer line spools preloaded with the trimmer line.

To replace the Black + Decker Trimmer line spool, pop the cap off the bottom of the trimmer, then remove the old spool; next, thread the line on the new spool through the eyelets, insert the spool, and replace the bump cap.

How to Refill Trimmer Line on Troy Bilt Trimmer and Other MTD Brands

Troy Bilt and other trimmers made by MTD brands typically come with bump feed heads. However, due to the popularity of these trimmers, several aftermarket replacement heads can also be installed.

These include both fixed-line and automatic speed-feed heads. This gives users a great deal of versatility with these trimmer brands.

How do you Refill Trimmer Line on Echo Trimmer?

Echo is a bit standout in the weed trimmer industry because most trimmers now come with automatic feed heads – called “Rapid Load.” To refill the trimmer line, you cut a 20-foot section of the trimmer line, feed it into the head, push a button, and the trimmer line loads automatically.


Now you know the quickest ways to change lines on weedeater head models- and the three most popular trimmer head designs sold.

Go ahead and get your best string trimmer head in place, and you’ll soon be ready to tackle those out-of-control weeds and hard-to-reach grasses easily. We believe the most accessible outdoor equipment you can own would be a self-propelled mower, a cordless leaf blower, and soon – your string trimmer!

Though your exact trimmer may vary, the directions provided in this article will hopefully help you work your way through refilling the trimmer line or trimmer head on practically any string trimmer.

Enjoy the article?  Don’t forget to share it – and please leave a comment or suggestion below!

References & Further Reading

Kevin Carroll
Kevin Carroll
Kevin is the author and editor for Best Home Gear, and uses his 25+ years experience in Commercial and Residential Construction Management to author and publish the work for this website. In addition to publishing Best Home Gear; Kevin enjoys the outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, hiking, cycling, fishing, golf, and completing DIY projects at his Home and Garden.

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Author and Publisher for Best Home Gear

Kevin is the Author, and Publisher @ Best Home Gear, which he began In 2018.

As a Professional in Construction, Real Estate and Property Management, Kevin uses that experience to publish Useful Articles, and help homeowners improve (DIY) their own homes, lawns, and outdoor spaces.

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